Overview of Red Slave

Red Slave

Bonaire South
ABC Islands


Red Slave is the last reasonable dive site on the Southern end of the island. It is more of an advanced dive due to its proximity to the point, so special care must be taken.

Directions: Of the two sets of Slave Huts, (White and Red), Red Slave is the most Southern, just 3.3 km West of the Willemstoren Lighthouse.


ShoreDiving Survival: Campaign for Patrons
  Please click HERE to learn how, for $1 a month,
YOU can help sustain and grow ShoreDiving by becoming a Patron!

A very warm 'Thank You' to all the one-time and continuing contributors.
Because of you, after 20 years, we are becoming Ad-Free and Tracking-Free!!!

Red Slave Patrons:   Please consider becoming a Patron for Red Slave

Dive Site Links:   (If you have a relevant link for Red Slave, please write us here.)
No external links have been submitted.

Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

11/13/2014 Brad Stan (Avg: 3.80 Review) - My first trip Bonaire. Amazing. Did shore dives at 23 different sites. I wanted to enter closer to the radio tower (as I found that less frequently dived areas in Bonaire turn out to be the best) but the current seemed too rough so I entered right near the red huts. Once I descended, there was virtually no current (unlike at the surface) which gave me the option to head south which I did. There was some very large coral and diverse coral but not as much aquatic life as I hoped. I would opt for other dives, such as Vista Blue, Margate Bay, and Angel City.

07/03/2012 Jim Olinger (Avg: 3.52 Review) - My wife and I dove this site in March of 2012. We bagged it on the first day due to very high swells. We returned the next day and found the conditions much better. We had some current heading south, so we went out to the north. Being pretty much on the southern tip of the island, this site has been beat up a bit by strong waves. Nevertheless, it was a nice dive site with lots of little sand chutes where the sand actually flows and trickles down the slope like a river under the water. Lot's of soft coral here and we did see a good size tortoise. It looks like good habitat for eagle rays although we did not see any. As mentioned before, this site could be dangerous if this current is too strong to swim against. The story on the historical marker about the slave huts and the salt mines was worth the trip here if the seas are too big.

05/09/2012 Erin (Avg: 3.09 Review) - The weather was unusually calm and flat with no waves/current. This made the entry and the dive incredibly easy. Spotted eagle rays, schools of yellow snapper, grouper in primarily soft coral. There was some variable current throughout the dive, but not enough to cause any issues. Sand channels interspersed with reef made an interesting contrast.

01/22/2008 Lloyd Haskell (Avg: 3.52 Review) - If it looks rough then bail. We had to abort after twenty minutes due to unusual surge and cross currents . I would like to do this dive under ideal conditions.

09/25/2007 Jason NYC (Avg: 3.75 Review) - We aborted this dive shorty after entering due to various issues including much lower viz than usual and much stronger current than usual for Bonaire. All that said, park next to one of the slave huts and walk down the coral rubble hill to what is a really a very easy entry on a mostly sandy bottom. Just walk the entry before doing it in gear. Topside doesn't get much more lovely! Other than the stronger current, this is a pretty typical southern Bonaire site and that equals paradise! You really can't find a bad dive in Bonaire. It mostly just comes down to entry concerns.

07/05/2006 Bob Kennedy (Avg: 3.87 Review) - We have dived Red Slave for several years now, but it has always been with trepidation because the first time we dove it the current was IMPOSSIBLE, and we are both one-time competitive swimmers who still swim a mile in the surf at the Delaware shore in almost any kind of weather (when the lifeguards will let us in). Four or five big, young Dutch guys (20-somethings) had been swept around the point and had to get out in the surf past the lighthouse, which, surprisingly, wasn't bad but can often be actually dangerous with scuba gear on. Since the current here can switch on and off or change direction at a moment's notice, the most reasonable precaution is to always turn north when you get to the reef--even if you end up doing a drift dive the entire time, you can always find a decent place to get out north of Red Slave. South is around the point to the Lighthouse or a trip to South America. OK, after that caveat, this is maybe our favorite site on Bonaire--great coral, great fish life, great critters in the shallows, and the occasional biggie. Scene of my closest encounter ever with a big moray--if my wife hadn't grabbed my leg I probably would've smacked into his ugly puss with my mask. I wasn't looking where I was going because I was staring at a HUGE barracuda who was shadowing us. I imagine that Red Slave is a slight taste of how Bonaire diving used to be.

12/03/2005 David Frank (Avg: 4.22 Review) - Dove this site Dec 2004 and the previous year. We were lucky to have relatively calm conditions here both times. In recent trips have been concentrating more on the southern sites on Bonaire, and this was one of the most enjoyable. Saw huge midnight parrotfish traveling in a school, spotted eagle ray, southern stingray; soft corals predominate and are very healthy.

04/08/2004 Jim Homan (Avg: 3.92 Review) - Since the officials at the Bonaire Marine Park removed the boat moorings from many of the sites along the south side, they are not dived as often as they had been. We had this and many other sites to ourselves the entire time we were diving this part of the island. Booties are a must and navigation without the buoy can be a little tricky, but the worst that will happen is that you get a little bit of a surface swim if you come up in the wrong spot.

11/14/2003 Gerald Wilgus (Avg: 4.31 Review) - We wanted to revisit this site to see if it was a good as we remember it. We were lucky this time that conditions were calm as the rocky entry can be uncomfortable. The reef begins at 40 feet, so is a good spot for a deep dive followed by a shallower one. Save your air and kick out to the reef before descending. Red slave rekindled our rememberances of it. Passing schools of Black Durgons, French Grunts and Yellow Goatfish kept us company. The numerous sponges make this site very colorful and the reef is so steep it is almost like diving a wall. As we were waiting out our safety stop a Hawksbill turtle came cruising by. Diving here is delightful.

08/23/2003 Dave Rambo (Avg: 4.35 Review) - This might be my favorite dive on Bonaire (it was Karpta). My 17 yr old son and I dove here twice this year and really liked it. The surf was not bad and just a little northward current as you get to the end of the island. Saw 3 turtles, an eagle ray and some small sting rays, but what impressed me most was the huge stands of soft coral and plant life. You will also see larger fish here, and bigger schools. There's no need to go deep here because most of the good stuff is at 40'-50' -- Great dive!

08/21/2002 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 4.48 Review) - Ok, we didn't dive Red Slave because of the early morning local fishing boat, but we went to a dive site between the lighthouse and Red Slave called Soft Coral Garden. This was just like the name says, lots of soft corals and a mild current to make it a semi-drift dive. I proudly wore my Shore Diving.com hat to most of the sites on this trip!

04/01/2002 Alexandra (Avg: 4.62 Review) - Tied for my favorite dive site on the island. It has pristine reefs and larger than average fish. My feeling is that the location of this site allows for currents to bring extra nutrients to the reef and it shows. The only way I could see someone getting in trouble here is ignoring a current. I get the impression it could get real dangerous under the right conditions if you ignored the current, unless you wanted a free trip to South America! You can navigate really easily by counting the sand shoots as you pass them; count the same # back and you're out in the exact same place. Easy in and out. Currents pick up at night in Bonaire, so I don't think it would be a good idea to night dive there, ever.

03/01/2002 Chrissy Levoshko (Avg: 3.54 Review) - It seemed that the angel fish were much larger at this site (the size of dinner plates-maybe larger). I saw two dolphins swimming towards us playfully and got a few pictures. After they passed I looked up and there was a pod of dolphins at the surface right above us...20-30 of them (we were in about 30 feet of water). They went by so fast. It was an incredible experience.

06/11/2001 David Fox (Avg: 3.98 Review) - A good site with a double reef. You will need at least basic shore dive skills to get through the surf and into the water. The waves are low, but the bottom is uneven.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: SB2301


Parking at Red Slave 

Parking is to the right of the slave huts.

Right Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: SB2302


Right Entry at Red Slave 

The coast line is very rugged here.

Left Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: SB2303


Left Entry at Red Slave 

Assist your buddy out to a reasonable depth.




Aerial at Red Slave 
(click photo for details)

Evaluate the currents as you are swimming out. Keep a good eye on your landmarks.

Last Verification: February, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Red Slave  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.50
Bottom Conditions:  3.93
Reef Conditions:  4.21
Animal Life:  4.43
Plant Life:  3.79
Facilities:  2.57
Solitude 4.00
Roads:  4.21
*Site Average:  3.93

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.43
Beginner Scuba:  2.64
Intermediate Scuba:  4.00
Advanced Scuba:  4.43
Night diving Scuba:  2.64

Number of reviews for this site: 14


  Search  About You  |  About Us  |  Contact ShoreDiving.com


Copyright 2000-2020 ShoreDiving.com, LLC. tm All rights reserved.
Please read and understand the
Disclaimer concerning information contained in this site.